ELGIN - A daylong auction April 24 netted Friends of the Community Center in Elgin nearly $6,400, which will be used for a variety of projects at the center.

"It's the best auction we've had," said Jessie McDonald, who has worked with the group that has organized the auction for most of the past 20 years.

Justin Nedrow has been auctioneer for the event for the last five years. He follows in the footsteps of his father, Roger Nedrow, who auctioned the event for 15 years.

Friends of the Community Center maintains a separate banking account from the Elgin Community Center, McDonald said. The group negotiates with the Community Center board to decide what projects they will help fund.

"This means things you can identify," McDonald said. "We like that."

Auction funds have helped replace the heater for the center's pool.

The funds do not go toward meeting administrative costs for the center.

The Elgin Community Center was constructed in 1971-72, with the Friends of the Community Center auction helping to raise funds for the project.

The auction was canceled for several years after the Boise Cascade Corp. donated the last $5,000 of construction costs, McDonald said.

Joyce Riley, who recently retired as a rural carrier for the Elgin Post Office, headed efforts to revive the auction in the early 1980s. McDonald said it has been held every year since.

Friends of the Community Center begins organizing the spring auction shortly after Christmas.

"It's a lot of work," McDonald said. More than 400 letters are sent out to area businesses seeking donations. These articles then have to be picked up and stored for the event.

The Elgin Parks and Recreation District funds the Community Center. McDonald said Friends of the Community Center helped establish the taxing district.

McDonald, Scott Ludwig, Jo Hug, Dale Witherspoon, Cindy Wilhelm, Frances Kunz, Linda Boone, Pat McDonald and Pat McMullin are members of the group's board.

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